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of the united states armed forces. their professionalism and dedication to the values we share and hold dear are inspirational. i would personally like to congratulate marine sergeant maker -- a sergeant major receiving an award tonight recognizing the united states armed forces contributions to the defense of freedom. i have sought to raise awareness of the challenges facing our wounded, to help mobilize support and resources for them. we have tried to do what we can to help service men and women leave the military with purpose, hope, and confidence. whether in their working in garments or in the wider community, these fine people are examples to us all and have made an invaluable contribution. last year, i struggled to keep up with four british soldiers who i joined in an expedition to the north pole. each of these men had been gravely wounded on the battlefield of afghanistan theirs was the fastest team to reach people that season. at this very moment, another team of our wounded are returning from mount everest. sadly, i have to be the first to say they were frustrated from reaching the
officer in the united states armed forces. in this role, he serves as the principal military adviser to the chairman, the secretary of defense on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration utilization, the health of the force, and joint development for enlisted personnel. he is the recipient of many prestigious military awards and decorations, including a purple heart, the commendation medal and other metals. his wife is here tonight, who also deserve recognition. the men and women in uniform better around the room here tonight in uniform are here to represent their colleagues in the five services of our country we applaud them and had an opportunity right before dinner was served to have them backstage in get photographs with members like general powell and all of the honorees, which was a great treat for them. each of them said it was a bigger treat for them to get their picture taken with these enlisted men and women. as an old army sergeant, i would say in bringing sergeant major battaglia up here, for a marine, a he is all right. [laughter] sergeant major b
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